Luke confirmed the news to the Dallas Morning News just ahead of the weekend. He also told the Texas paper that his dad had spent the last few years battling Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting a cause of death.
While his sons are both household names, Robert was a successful TV icon himself. Not only did he help launch Jim Lehrer’s career with “Newsroom” through local, public affiliate KERA in 1968 — Lehrer famously hosted PBS’ “NewsHour” from 1975-2011 — he was also responsible for bringing “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” to American television screens.
Owen even once attributed his comedy stylings to his father while promoting “Midnight in Paris” in 2011. “He worked with these great creative people with great senses of humor and I remember being at dinner and just hearing Dad’s friends talk,” he said. “I think that was for me and my brothers a big influence on what was funny.”
Robert’s declining health became noticeable that same year when he was unable to attend KERA’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Luke, Owen, and brother Andrew add that anyone wishing to pay their respects can do so by making a donation to PBS.